This was the Start – June 2013 to June 2014
Short answer – small businesses are in drastic need of innovation best practices.
Long answer – after 24+ years in product development roles and an unexpected return to school to earn a PhD in business, I transitioned from being an employee in start-ups as well as global organizations to teacher and consultant. With my consultant hat on, my colleagues and I train people in organizations on innovation practices – how to develop new products (goods and services) and provide increased value with existing products. www.ProductMasteryNow.com is our group that accomplishes this. Unlike many consultants in this space, we connect our work to the largest bodies of knowledge available to product developers and managers that have been organized by independently professional associations:
- The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is the oldest global advocate for product development and management professionals.
- Association of International Product Marketers and Managers (AIPMM) is the largest professional group for product and marketing managers.
Of course there are pros and cons to any training approach, but I view this as being the least biased. I am able to successfully leverage these exhaustive bodies of knowledge to help organizations with many issues related to innovation – with the most common being the need for creating a foundation for innovation. This has given me the opportunity to train many people in innovation and new product development practices.
However, all is not roses in the world of innovation. Most of my work involves larger organizations – those with several people in product management roles and other roles related to innovation. Many organizations are in need of innovation training – some once great names have lost their edge and others have been more lucky than skilled. However, larger organizations often have resources available to help them survive their mistakes.
The same is not true for small business owners and entrepreneurs. As I discuss what I do with my small business friends, they find the innovation practices to be valuable and applicable to their setting. This spurred me to consider this further — how to take what we know works well for large organizations and apply the best practices to small businesses? Looking for answers to that question was the catalyst for my innovation road trip.
While I am interviewing innovators of all shapes and sizes (literally and figuratively!) from small to large organizations, I am seeking to better help the small business person, entrepreneur, and wantrepreneur. They can easily and effectively apply innovation best practices to increase their success – and in many cases, prevent devastating failures. Specifics will be the topic of many future posts.